فَقالَ أَبي رَسُولُ اللهِ ( صلى الله عليه وآله ) : يا عَلِيُ وَ الَّذي بَعَثَني بِالحَقِّ نَبِيّاً وَ اصطَفاني بِالرِّسالَةِ نَجِيّا ، ما ذُكِرَ خَبَرُنا هذا في مَحفِلٍ مِن مَحافِلِ أَهلِ الأَرضِ وَ فِيهِ جَمعٌ مِن شِيعَتِنا وَ مُحِبّيِنا وَ فِيهِم مَهمُومٌ إِلا ّوَ فَرَّجَ اللهُ هَمَّهُ وَ لا مَغمُومٌ إِلاّ وَ كَشَفَ اللهُ غَمَّهُ وَ لا طالِبُ حاجَةٍ إِلاّ وَ قَضى اللهُ حاجَتَهُ. ، فَقالَ عَلِيٌّ ( عليه السَّلام ) : إذَاً والله فُزنا وَ سُعِدنا ، وَ كَذلِكَ شِيعَتُنا فَازوا وَ سُعِدوا في الدُّنيا وَ الآخِرَةِ وَ رَبِّ الكَعبَةِ "
"O `Ali!" my father Allah’s Messenger, peace be upon him and his Household, added, "I swear this by Him Who has sent me with the truth as Prophet and chosen me, as holding communion, to convey the Message; whenever the tale of this gathering of us is mentioned in an assembly of the people of the earth in which a group of our adherents and lover are present and among them there is a distressed one, Almighty Allah shall certainly release him from distress, or there is among them an aggrieved one, Almighty Allah shall certainly relieve him from grief, or there is among them one who needs a request to be granted, Almighty Allah shall certainly grant him his request." `Ali, peace be upon him, said, "Then, we have won and attained pleasure. I swear it by Allah. So have our adherents; they have won and attained pleasure in this world and in the Hereafter. I swear it by the Lord of the Ka`bah."
The exclamatory statement of Imam Ali (AS) in appreciation of the victory that has stemmed from the blessed gathering under the cloak further encourages the Prophet (SA) to convey more of the blessings and rewards of this occasion. The Prophet’s excitement about the significance of this event urges him to continue further by repeating the first introductory statement of swearing by Allah (SWT) who has sent him as Messenger and has chosen him to deliver that Message.
Again, he states the condition of the reward he is about to present by saying: “Whenever the tale of this gathering of us is mentioned in an assembly of the people of the earth in which a group of our adherents and lover are present…” The repetition here is not random or for the sake of redundancy, rather the intention here is for the purpose of emphasizing and reminding us of every word he is uttering so that we don’t forget it.
What are the other rewards that the Prophet (SA) presents in his second statement? Another three bounties which are related this time to the worldly affairs, while the first set of rewards as you may recall were related to the hereafter and spirituality. By this unique presentation of the rewards of the Hereafter before the rewards of this life, the Prophet (SA) is emphasizing the message that what is generally more important and should come first in our list of priorities is the affairs of the after-life where we will abode eternally.
Hence, all our actions must be aligned with the priorities we identify in our lives. We should also recognize that the higher degree of reward or value lies in what is associated with our spirituality, and not what is related to our transient life.
Allah (SWT) is Merciful to His servants and is All-Aware of the troubles and tribulations they face in their everyday lives. The life of this world is indeed a great test especially for the believers and no one can escape the test of Allah (SWT) either in their wealth, property, or children as He (SWT) said,
وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ
“And We will most certainly try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of property and lives and fruits.” (2:155)
As humans, we are all in need of divine assistance in the many issues and problems which we face every day. Allah (SWT) tests our patience and perseverance during our hard times, but He (AS) also opened the door for supplication and prayer so that we seek His help in all our affairs.
The three worldly rewards which the Prophet (SA) conveys are as follows:
1) The distressed person will be relieved from his distress.
2) The aggrieved person will be relieved from his grief.
3) A person who has a need or request will have their prayer accepted and fulfilled.
Each one of us certainly experience one of the above three situations often in our lives and the third case is even more common among all people. We are promised to be freed from distress, grief, and have our needs fulfilled simply by reciting this narration in a gathering of believers who are devoted to the Prophet’s AhlulBayt (AS). We are encouraged to pause at the conclusion of this narration and present our needs to the Almighty Creator. Certainly this is a great gift and an easy-pass access to the mercy of Allah (SWT)!
These worldly rewards accompanied by the spiritual rewards which we discussed earlier are certainly all that the believer desires. For that reason, Imam Ali (AS) expresses his joy by swearing by the Lord of the Ka’ba and declaring that this indeed is a great victory for them and for the Shi’as and lovers of the AhlulBayt (AS).
The Tradition of the Cloak is one means whereby the believers and devotees of the Prophet’s AhlulBayt (AS) can seek the assistance of Allah (SWT) by virtue of their gathering in congregation among themselves where they recite this blessed narration. In fact, the Hadeeth Al Kisaa can be seen as an “intercessor” which increases the guarantee of acceptance of prayer compared to our individual supplication.
The idea of intercession for the seeking of needs is proven and confirmed in the Tradition of the Cloak and it is comparable to seeking the “Gate of Needs” (باب الحوائج) personified by esteemed characters such as Imam Musa Al Kadhem (AS).
Reciting Hadeeth Al Kisaa will grant you the fulfillment of your needs by the blessings of the Members of the Cloak, just as knocking on the door of Imam Al Kadhem (AS) and presenting your need to him will serve as a faster means of reaching your aim.
Likewise, the reward of relieving the distress of those who are distressed (as mentioned in this narration) simply for appreciating this narration and recognizing those who are the superstars under the cloak, follows the same ideology where a believer seeks the door of Hazrat Abbas ibn Ali (AS) to relieve their stress by reciting the following recommended prayer of intercession:
"يا مفرج الكرب عن وجه أخيك الحسين فرج كربي بحق أخيك الحسين"
(Oh reliever of the anguish from your brother Husain, relieve my anguish for the sake of your brother Husain)
If the purpose of the creation’s existence is for the sake of the holy divine guides represented by Prophet Muhammad (SA) and his purified household, then surely anything can happen for their sake and out of their love. It doesn’t matter how grand the request or how serious the problem is, it is by the blessings of these divine guides that Allah (SWT) grants them the authority to act as they desire which is in absolute agreement to His divine Will.
Once again, Imam Ali (AS) replies back to the Prophet (SA) by pronouncing and confirming the glad tidings of victory for them and the devotees of the AhlulBayt (AS). We hope and pray that Allah (SWT) grants us the success of obeying and loving the Prophet (SA) and his purified AhlulBayt (AS), to increase our love and obedience to them such that we attain the great status of being among the Shi’as and devotees of His Chosen guides, and to dedicate our whole existence for their service.